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National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium Reviews

National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium

National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium

Dubuque, IA
4.9 out of 5 rating, 30 Reviews
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Reviews

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4.9 out of 5 rating
WeddingWire Couples' Choice Awards 2024 Winner
4.9 out of 5 rating
30 Reviews
99% recommend it
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Awards

30
WeddingWire Couples' Choice Awards 2024 Winner
WeddingWire Couples' Choice Awards 2023 Winner
Weddingwire
4.9/5 30 reviews
Google
4.7/5 4228 reviews
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    Lindsay P. Sent on 10/26/2023
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    Absolutely amazing!

    The National Mississippi River Museum was the perfect place for our wedding. Both my husband and I are science people and we knew that it was the place to pick the moment we stepped foot into the museum. Our guests loved being able to walk around and view all of the animals throughout the night. We got several compliments on how our wedding stood out compared to others people have been to. Teri helped us make the day perfect! She helped work out specific details and made sure everything was the way we wanted. We can’t thank her enough!
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    Molly F. Sent on 10/02/2023
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    Why go anywhere else?

    Our experience with Teri and the River Museum was exceptional. A unique, fun, and memorable environment that all our guests loved.
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    Lauren L. Sent on 09/10/2023
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    The Place for Nature Lovers

    This is a great venue for nature lovers! We recently celebrated our wedding at the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium. The grounds were beautiful and we got so many good photos outside! We appreciated that the space could host our ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception as some of our guests had limited mobility. The venue has an exclusive caterer but the food was excellent. We got so many compliments on the space and the food from our guests. A highlight was seeing my cousin's kids fascinated by the otters! Our ceremony was in the train depot, and we had excellent natural light there - I wanted my aisle to be a good length and the train depot was perfect for that too. But key for us was the affordability and the responsiveness of the staff. Teri was quick to answer any emails and was key to our day going smoothly. She understood the vision we communicated, was there to help with setup, and had all of our decorations packed up for pickup the day after. I can't tell you how much of a relief that was - it really helped us enjoy our event until the end.
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  • Jan
    Jan H. Sent on 09/07/2023
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    Incredible Venue

    Highly recommend Teri and her staff at tge Mississippi River Museum. First of all she is professional. She’s a great communicator, organized and patient. My daughter had a travel theme where every table had a different city to visit. Each table was decorated differently. Her staff took our 12 boxes of decorations and worked their magic. It was amazing!!!

    Teri dealt with some last minute items with grace and a smile. She took so much stress off of me. If I was still running a DJ business, this would be one of my favorite places to work at due to her.
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    Megan R. Sent on 08/08/2023
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    Unique, beautiful and memorable

    Wonderful place to have a wedding! Unique, inviting, spacious! Great caterer, our guests wanted doggy bags! Dance floor was fun. Great photo ops. Nice and accommodating staff! Highly recommended!
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    Jaclyn R. Sent on 07/13/2023
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    June 2023 Wedding

    The River Museum was the perfect venue for our wedding this June! Our guests loved having the opportunity to see the exhibits and thought it was unique that our dinner tables were placed amongst the exhibits. Teri and her staff were phenomenal at supporting us through our wedding planning process and on wedding day. Everything turned out so beautiful, and we could not have asked for a better day! Thank you to Teri and her staff for helping make our day so special and memorable! I would HIGHLY recommend this venue to anyone in their wedding search.
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    Rachel L. Sent on 06/23/2023
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    Amazingly done!

    Teri is amazing to work with! I can’t thank her and everyone else who helped enough! The set up was amazing, the food amazing! Thank you!!
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    Michelle Sent on 06/15/2023
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    Awesome place to having a wedding!

    We had such a good experience having our wedding reception at the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium. It was such a good value compared to the other venues we looked at, and the most unique one by far. All of our guests loved it and had a great time. All of the staff were so good at their jobs and helpful, and Teri was very communicative and easy to work with. Would definitely recommend having your wedding here!
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    Sherill J. Sent on 05/22/2023
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    Missippi River Museum

    Terri and her team were excellent. Everything turned out just how I wanted. She and the staff made my dream wedding a reality!! I highly recommend having a wedding here.
  • Rachel
    Rachel W. Sent on 04/10/2023
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    Unique & Percect All-In-One Venue

    The River Museum was the perfect venue for our small & intimate wedding, but you can go even bigger! It’s historic and unique with the aquarium, no other venue is like it. You have the whole museum to yourself in the after hours. The river otters will be the main entertainment, playing and swimming, putting on a show for your guests. We were able to have the ceremony, cocktail hour, and dinner reception all within one location, with easy transition, and no waiting for tables & chairs to be moved, etc. The location of the venue is also superb; next to a hotel, casino, and walking distance to downtown Dubuque. The catering company is contracted, so no need to worry about finding a delicious and available caterer— it’s already chosen for you! They also provided a very helpful list of officiants, photographers, and DJ/entertainment you can use who are familiar with the venue. It’s helpful if you’re new to the area. Teri was a delight to work with in coordinating the big day, and the day-of staff were very professional and friendly. All of my guests loved the venue as well. I would highly recommend having your wedding day here! If you prefer, they also have a “micro wedding” package!
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    Sandra S. Sent on 01/04/2023
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    Beautiful venue, super easy too!

    This venue is so fun and beautiful! Working with Teri made it so easy. Very organized and detailed to make everything go just as planned by the couple. I’m the groom’s mom and helped a little with flowers for the venue. The caterer they work with has fantastic food and accommodations for gluten free and low sodium which were also very good.
    The price was reasonable and there were many options for the reception.
  • Rhonda
    Rhonda B. Sent on 10/26/2022
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    Unique & Beautiful

    Absolutely thrilled that our son's wedding reception was held at the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium. It was so perfect for that unique vibe the couple was going for. This is not your "typical" wedding reception venue. Our guests were constantly saying how amazed they were with how everything was set up around the aquarium exhibits. As they ate dinner or even after, they were able to enjoy the exhibits as well, as visit and dance the night away around them. And Teri was so incredibly easy to work with. She made everything so perfect and her team was so kind and thoughtful throughout the whole night. I honestly can't say enough wonderful things about the whole experience. And the cost to book the venue was so affordable. They work exclusively with J & D catering and they food was outstanding. We decided to go with the 3 entree option of roast beef, balsamic orange chicken, and lasagna and it didn't disappoint. Guest also raved about the food and the J & D cupcakes. If you are looking for everything you want in one place and want to have a beautiful unique experience, I highly recommend the NMRMA!!! Thank you so much for everything Teri! You made everything so simple and easy so our family could just soak in the moments and enjoy ourselves.
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    Holly H. Sent on 10/17/2022
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    Every couple should get married here!!

    Every couple should get married here!! From the gorgeous venue to the amazing team, the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium made for the perfect wedding experience for us and our guests. We were blown away at how much was included at the affordable price. 10/10 would recommend!
  • Ashley
    Ashley S. Sent on 08/22/2022
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    Unique and Beautiful Venue!

    Where do I even start?! Sooo many wonderful things to say about our experience. If you are looking for a truly unique and beautiful venue- look no further than the river museum! First off, Teri, the sales and banquet manager there is so easy to work with. She answered any questions I had right away, accommodated our requests and was with us the entire night to help see that everything ran smoothly. We had so many people tell us how it was their first wedding at the museum and just how cool it was. Guests were able to not only enjoy the food, company and music but they could also walk around and check out the muesum as well. And the grand entrance down the main stair case...it still gives me goose bumps just thinking about it and the feeling of having all of our family and friends waiting to greet us once we arrived. Not to mention the food was fantastic and the gorgeous pictures we got outside while the sun was setting were the cherry on top! I cant say enough good things about our experience here. The next day we were already thinking about when we could plan another event there! Book this for your wedding! You wont be disappointed!
  • Amy
    Amy D. Sent on 06/23/2022
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    Unique Venue/Excellent Service

    This venue is not like any other. To hold all your wedding events in one place made the day run smooth. Teri, the wedding coordinator, is well experienced and was on top of each and every part of the wedding. She was professional, friendly, courteous and knew how to keep the day flowing. Guests truly enjoyed this venue and this day will definitely be memorable for the rest of our lives.
  • Taylor
    Taylor B. Sent on 06/16/2022
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    A Perfect Night At The Museum

    I cannot recommend the River Museum enough. If you want a unique venue with an experienced and caring staff please book here! The day was perfect. There was little we had to worry about while still getting exactly what we wanted. The two things that drew us to the museum was the uniqueness and beauty of the venue, as well as having Teri as the coordinator to make sure the whole day ran smoothly. Both desires more than delivered. The museum was beautiful and the staff managed all our set up and tear down of decor. We had no stress on our day because Teri and the staff had everything under control. Teri even worked closely with our other vendors, reaching out to them to make sure everyone was on the same page. There was absolutely nothing wrong with our day, and if there was, we don't know because Teri and the staff handled everything amazingly. It was wonderful and a relief to not have to stress about timeline, or making sure vendors knew the plan because Teri handles it all. She makes sure everything is as you want it. They are a well-oiled, professional team. I had so many people complement me on the venue and that they had no idea it did events like this. If I could do it all over again there is nothing I would change. If I could give a million stars to the River Museum & Aquarium I would.
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    Linda S. Sent on 03/25/2022
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    A magical evening

    Beautiful and very unique venue. Our guests were in such awe of how gorgeous the place was. I definitely felt like a princess in my very own love story on a perfect evening!
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    Morgan Sent on 09/19/2021
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    Flexible to our changing COVID needs

    This venue turned out to be perfect for several reasons. We chose it initially because we had a large invite list and needed a place that would accommodate large parties. Due to the pandemic, most of our guests were unable to travel or attend. But, with the boatyard on site, the event coordinator for the museum was able to change our reception to an outdoor event for additional COVID safety. She also ensured only vaccinated staff worked our event at our request. She worked directly with our other vendors to help us get a tent and outdoor seating only six weeks before our event, which also happened to be scheduled for the Labor Day weekend. Finally, she was able to get special requests for our bar, including local craft beers. Also an easy walk across a bridge to the hotels downtown, which was important with a serious lack of Uber and taxis that weekend. With the sunset views in the boatyard and the active river otters, the event could not have been more perfect.
  • Kathy
    Kathy J. Sent on 04/08/2021
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    The Wedding of their Dreams

    My daughter got married in the Train Station which is a beautiful setting and had their reception in the Museum and it turned out to be the wedding of their dreams. Terri and her staff were so organized, professional and helpful throughout the entire process. When it came time for the final walk thru she wanted to make sure she knew how we wanted everything and she had lots of great suggestions. We had an Arch for the wedding that was movable so we could utilize it at the reception for pictures, which was a big hit, we had it in front of the aquarium so we had fish as the background. The food was really good and the beverage service was really easy to access. I'm so glad we chose to have their wedding there. I can't wait to see all the pictures from our photographer.
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    Sierrah S. Sent on 12/18/2020
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    So unique!

    I had my wedding at the River Museum on 10/10/2020. We chose the museum in 1/2019. We were actually between the River Museum and the Grand River Center and had actually booked the Grand River Center initially but they had rules that contracts couldn’t be signed that early at that time. During a wedding vendor show, Grand River Center coordinator didn’t show much of an interest in us. As we rounded to Teri’s table, she remembered our names and was genuinely happy to see us. It may not seem like a lot to some people but that was what sealed the deal. The River Museum it was! From the first moment Teri was always there and willing to help with any question or concerns we had along the way. We booked the Train Depot for our ceremony which was a beautiful space even without decorations! We were a little worried about 2 things; the loud noises if trains pass and that in October the air conditioner may still be in the window. A train didn’t pass and the air conditioner was out! Even if the air conditioner was not out if you have 3-4 bridesmaids, I don’t think it would even be an issue and if your photographer is good enough, I don’t think they would even have it in the shot if you didn’t have any wedding party. Our wedding reception actually took place upstairs. I love the layout upstairs and it left plenty of room for COVID-19 social distance guidelines. The dance floor and supper happened upstairs then the photobooth from my DJ and the aquarium was downstairs. It is such a unique venue! The head table is served by staff which posed a slight problem due to me not eating beef and pork, but the beef and gravy ended up on my plate despite passing on the information beforehand. It wasn’t a huge deal because it was rectified immediately. Teri was at the venue for the whole wedding and tailored to all needs perfectly! At one point she was running because we decided to do our sparkler send off early so that she could get it set up. We are so appreciative of the assist that Teri and the River Museum provided us trying to make our wedding day as great as possible despite and ongoing pandemic. I felt safe every step of the way. If you are going back and forth on booking the River Museum let me just tell you to DO IT! You will not regret it!
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    Jessica S. Sent on 10/16/2020
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    Highly recommended unique venue

    I cannot say enough good things about Teri Witt, Sales and Banquet Manager, and the Mississippi River Museum as a wedding venue. My daughter was married at the Museum this past weekend and from the very first time we met Teri at a bridal fair back in early 2019 I loved working with her. Teri is so accommodating and willing to answer all questions (or get the answers if she does not know them). She has held many events and knows the ins and outs of planning and helped us every step of the way. She went along with our crazy ideas and did not even balk once when we told her that sand was going to be a part of the table centerpieces. Her staff is very professional and has an eye for design/detail. We did not have plans for decorating the cocktail tables, but they took the extra decorations from our bins and made the cocktail tables look elegant and beautiful. The staff was always there asking if we needed anything (and even came to my rescue when I tripped on my dress coming up the steps LOL). The venue is one for the record books and I cannot say enough GREAT things about it. We never knew the museum held events like this until we met Teri at the previously mentioned bridal fair and we were AMAZED that all the exhibits remain open during the entire event. This gave everyone a chance to see the wonderful exhibits and animals (even the rogue duck that escaped the enclosure to try to join the party!) and kept the little ones occupied. This event center is a MUST SEE and I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND! (Also see my review for their exclusive caterer J&D Catering out of New Vienna --- FIVE STAR!!!!)
    --- Jessica, Wedding 10/10/2020
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    Kortney K. Sent on 12/19/2018
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    Simply Perfect

    Working with Teri and the museum staff was great. Everything about the day was perfect. All of our guests loved the venue and couldn't stop talking about how cool it. They have their own caterer that makes for one less decision to make, the food was awesome. They also gave us a list of other vendors they have worked with in the past that helped us narrow some searches. Teri was also great about reaching out to other vendors to make sure everyone was on the same page which was immensely helpful. I couldn't say enough great things about the museum and our experience getting married there.
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    Jennifer Sent on 05/15/2018
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    The team at the museum was amazing!!!! They took my planning ideas and just made them better!

    We chose to have both our ceremony and reception here. And after food, gratuity (they can't charge tax so they have a mandatory 18%gratuity) we spent a little under $4500 to have 130 people in attendance.

    If you are looking for a small wedding and to do something different, this is definitely a great place.

    Oh, and they do all the set up and clean up. All they require is that you provide them with whatever decorations you want put up, and they do the rest. A lot of other venues we looked at that were more expensive were going to require us to do the set up and clean up. So if you want some place lower maintenance for you, definitely check this place out as a possible wedding venue
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    Meredith Sent on 09/13/2016
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    We had such a great experience at this venue. The staff are super knowledgeable, friendly, and helpful. Teri, the banquet coordinator, is a fantastic resource and is super organized - absolutely every last detail was taken care of. Nate is the events coordinator, and he was also very easy to work with. The caterer, Diane, was just wonderful to work with, and the catering team and bartending staff were great. There's plenty of stuff for guests to visit and look at, nearby hotels and restaurants, and lots and lots of free parking. We had a guest count of 115, and the final bill was very reasonable - we spent about $50 per guest (includes the space fee, food, and a beer/wine hosted bar). The museum has event staff that do all the setup and tear down. We did heavy appetizer stations in lieu of dinner, which isn't their usual setup but worked well in the space.

    We got married in the depot room and had our reception in the exhibit space. One thing about the depot room that you might want to know if you are considering this venue is that it is only a few feet away from an active train track. The trains do slow down, but they're not silent. Just in case that's a dealbreaker! We didn't mind.

    Nothing but happy thoughts about this whole place.
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    Megan Sent on 06/30/2016
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    EVERYONE SHOULD GET MARRIED HERE! Note my all caps. I want to do all I can to express my enthusiasm for the National Mississippi River Museum as a venue. They were incredible. We worked with Nate in the early planning stage. He was unbelievably responsive. If he couldn't answer a question right away, he would respond to the email and let us know when he would get back to us. He accommodated literally every request. My now husband asked for a layout of the space and he sent an attachment of a photo where the tables would go. As we got closer to the date, we worked with Terri who was on site during the ceremony and reception. She worked so hard all evening. We didn't worry about anything. They handled set up, they handled tear down. Our only job was to have fun. We loved that they had an exclusive caterer! One less decision to make, and as an added bonus, their caterer is awesome! Diane is a funny and kind person and we received many compliments regarding the food. Finally, the value. Everything was reasonably priced.

    I'll conclude with some compliments we received the night of the wedding:

    "this is the coolest place I've ever seen a wedding be"
    "when we get married, we are going to copy everything you did"
    "I had no idea something this cool is so close to where we live"
    "Beautiful place for a wedding"

    The list goes on and on....
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